Frequently Asked Questions


What is Endodontics?

Endodontics (Root Canal Therapy) is a branch of dentistry involving treatment of the pulp (root canal) and surrounding tissues of the tooth. When you look at your tooth in the mirror, what you see is the crown. The rest of the tooth, the portion hidden beneath the gum line, is called the root.

The inside channel of the root or "root canal" contains a pulp of soft tissue, blood vessels and nerves. Bacteria that are introduced into the pulp as a result of tooth decay, gum disease, tooth fracture or other problems, can severely damage the pulp. When the pulp is damaged, an endodontic specialist removes the diseased tissue to save the tooth and prevent further infection and inflammation. After successful endodontic treatment, the tooth continues to perform normally.

what is endodontics what is endodontics

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what is endodontics what is endodontics

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Who performs endodontic treatment?

All dentists, including your general dentist, receive basic training in endodontic treatment in dental colleges. However, general dentists often refer patients needing endodontic treatment to endodontists.

Who is an "endodontist"?

An endodontist or a root canal specialist is a dentist with special training in diagnosing and treating problems associated with the inside of the tooth. They do only endodontic procedures in their practices because they are specialists. To become specialists, they complete their bachelor's degree (BDS) from a dental college and undergo an additional three years of advanced training (MDS) in endodontics, one of the nine specialties recognized by the DENTAL COUNCIL OF INDIA.

They perform routine as well as very complex endodontic procedures, including retreatment of previous root canals that have not healed completely, as well as endodontic surgery. Endodontists are also experienced at finding the cause of oral and facial pain that has been difficult to diagnose.

Why would I need an endodontic procedure?

Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp, the soft tissue inside the root canal, becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, an injury to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulpal inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.

What are the signs of needing endodontic treatment?

Signs to look for include pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, tenderness to touch and chewing, discoloration of the tooth, and swelling, drainage and tenderness in the lymph nodes as well as nearby bone and gingival tissues. Sometimes, however, there are no symptoms.

If the untreated tooth is dead, why does it hurt so much?

Discomfort prior to treatment is a result of infection and inflammation of the nerve and surrounding bone and soft tissue. Once the offending nerve canal is cleaned and medicated, the pain will subside.

How does endodontic treatment save the tooth?

The endodontist removes the inflamed or infected pulp, carefully cleans and shapes the inside of the canal, then fills and seals the space. Afterwards, you will return to place a crown (cap) or other restoration on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function. After restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth.

Can all teeth be treated endodontically?

Most teeth can be treated. Occasionally, a tooth can't be saved because the root canals are not accessible, the root is severely fractured, the tooth doesn't have adequate bone support, or the tooth cannot be restored. However, advances in endodontics are making it possible to save teeth that even a few years ago would have been lost. When endodontic treatment is not effective, endodontic surgery may be able to save the tooth.

Will I feel pain during or after the procedure?

The motto of our centre is "Painless Precision". We ensure that the whole procedure is done with the utmost humane care and technical precision. Our goal is to make the procedure as comfortable and stress free as possible.

With modern techniques and anesthetics, most patients report that they are very comfortable during the procedure. For the first few days after treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. This discomfort is relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medications. Follow our post-procedure instructions carefully and you will have an eventless recovery!!

How much will the procedure cost?

The cost varies depending on how complex the problem is. Generally, endodontic treatment and restoration of the natural tooth are less expensive than the alternative of having the tooth extracted. An extracted tooth must be replaced with a bridge or implant to restore chewing function and prevent adjacent teeth from shifting. These procedures tend to cost more than endodontic treatment and appropriate restoration. With root canal treatment you save your natural teeth and money.

How do I justify the cost of root canal treatment?

The alternative is extraction and replacement of the tooth. You will lose an important member of the mouth, and the artificial substitutes never function as efficiently as the original tooth; and they usually cost more than root canal treatment with a filling or crown.

Will the tooth need any special care or additional treatment after endodontic treatment?

You should not chew or bite on the treated tooth until you have had it restored by your dentist. The unrestored tooth is susceptible to fracture, so you should see your dentist for a full restoration as soon as possible. Otherwise, you need only practice good oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing, and regular checkups and cleanings. Most endodontically treated teeth last as long as other natural teeth.

What causes an endodontically treated tooth to need additional treatment?

New trauma, deep decay, or a loose, cracked or broken filling can cause new infection in your tooth. In some cases, the endodontist may discover additional very narrow or curved canals that could not be treated during the initial procedure.

What happens after treatment?

When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your general dentist. You should contact your general dentist's office for a follow-up restoration within one week of completion of your root canal therapy at our office. Your general dentist will decide what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment or microsurgery. If a problem does occur, however, we are available at all times to respond.

I'm worried about X-rays. Should I be?

The risks associated with radiation exposure from dental radiographs are very minimal. While x-rays will be necessary during your endodontic treatment, we use a system called computerized digital radiography.

We use a digital radiography (x-ray) system that is linked to a computer network. These digital x-ray images require about 1/10 the dose of radiation for exposure compared to conventional x-rays. Also, the image is available immediately without having to wait for a mechanical developing process.

Digital x-rays will be taken on every new patient regardless of whether or not you have brought an x-ray with you. This allows us to have an original record, and gives us the ability to archive your images in the computer network. There are no additional fees associated with taking these x-rays. They have been accounted for in your quoted treatment fee. These x-rays are critical to our being able to serve you.

What about infection?

We adhere to the rigorous standards of infection control advocated by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Centers for Disease Control, and the Indian Dental Association. We use autoclave sterilization and disposable barrier techniques to help prevent infection.

How long will the tooth last after root canal treatment?

Normally, the tooth lasts as long as the other teeth in the mouth provided that the patient is in good health and has the physiological ability to repair the damaged bone.